The D23 Expo is underway at the Anaheim Convention Center and ahead of the big Parks & Resorts panel this afternoon, we wanted to give you a closer look at some of the things that are already on display including the Tron Lightcycle Run Cast Member costumes!
As part of their news push on Friday, Disney formally announced that the Tron-themed roller coaster would be named Tron Lightcycle Run. It is similar in name to the Shanghai Disneyland version, but exactly the same as far as the track layout is concerned, as we saw in our investigative blog post about it. As it relates to the 2019 D23 Expo, we saw a section of the Parks & Resorts pavilion dedicated to showing off not only the Cast Member costumes for Tron Lightcycle Run, but also a new piece of concept art. We’ll dissect the concept art first, and then show off the costumes. Our thanks go out to our friends at DiscoverTheMagic.blog for sending along some photos!
Here’s a look at the initial concept art released for the attraction.
Ok, a few points of difference between the two pieces of art. We see the removal of two things right off the bat. First, it looks like we’ll lose the giant “TRON” marquee shown off in the original piece of art. The removal of the large marquee is replaced by a much more modest sign at ground level in the new piece of art. The large canopy should certainly draw enough attention to the attraction, so maybe it’s not necessary to have a large marquee as well. Second, it looks like Disney, quite wisely, realized that stairs just won’t work in an attraction with such a high pull. ADA issues aside, having thousands of guests attempt to rope drop the attraction daily while traversing stairs isn’t an ideal situation. The stairs have been replaced by a winding ramp.
Some smaller points of note include the introduction of a proper tunnel for the Walt Disney World Railroad to pass under. Just like the stairs, it looks like Operations have been talking to the concept art department and pointing out that a steam engine passing under walkway without any cover was a bad idea. The tunnel should protect the guests walking above the track nicely, and we hope that Disney can include some fun elements both on the outside of the tunnel and on the inside of the tunnel for guests to look at.
Another seemingly significant loss comes in the form of what appeared to be an art installation of some sort to the right of the staircase in the original artwork. Seen below, the blue ribbon had no part to play in the actual roller coaster experience itself, so what it was supposed to be will likely remain a mystery.
We’ll revisit the new concept art again to try and break down what we can see. Overall, it looks like this piece of concept art more realistically represents the space that the Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster will occupy. We can see the edge of the Space Mountain facade on the far right of the image, showing how close the two attractions will be. The show building is visible behind the canopy in the new art. We can only hope that this is because the art is drawn from an elevated perspective well above the PeopleMover track. Hopefully the canopy will shield the show building from within Tomorrowland. That said, we’re not confident that the view from Storybook Circus, the Tomorrowland Speedway, or even Astro Orbiter will be great. Of the three, the view from Storybook Circus has the potential to be the worst when the roller coaster is finished, even if it does present some pretty great views of the construction right now. Finally, we can see that there are two ramps visible in the art. Guests looking to enjoy the attraction will likely take the upper ramp to the right. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we hope the lower ramp will be used as a way for guests to get to Storybook Circus as has been the case for years.
Ok, with a pretty thorough look at the new Tron Lightcycle Run concept art out of the way, let’s take a look at the Cast Member costumes on display at the 2019 D23 Expo. The reflective costumes are the same that we’ve seen out in Shanghai Disneyland, but perfectly fit the theme of the attraction.
We’ll be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of the 2019 D23 Parks & Resorts panel as the news breaks at 1:30pm EST, so keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com throughout the day!